Villanova running back to miss Penn game with injury

Norman White, Villanova's leading receiver, will play. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Norman White, Villanova's leading receiver, will play. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Posted: September 22, 2012

Villanova's ability to run the ball has been a strength in the early part of the season, but the Wildcats will be missing a major component of their ground game against Penn.

Austin Medley, the sophomore from South Jersey's Delsea High, will miss Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game at Franklin Field against the 0-1 Quakers because of a hamstring injury, coach Andy Talley said.

Medley has rushed for 228 yards (5.8 average) and one touchdown for the 2-1 Wildcats, who opened the season with three consecutive games of rushing for 200 or more yards.

Without Medley, more of the load will fall on sophomore Kevin Monangai, who has rushed for 213 yards (6.3 average) and three touchdowns.

"We will also try to get freshman Javon White on the field, and another freshman, Gary Underwood, has been playing, and we will get him in the mix too," Talley said Thursday after practice.

The 6-foot, 215-pound Underwood has gained 8 yards rushing on two carries, and he has three receptions for 31 yards. White, a 6-1, 185-pound product of Souderton, has three carries for 6 yards.

In addition, redshirt freshman quarterback John Robertson is a running threat. He has rushed for 187 yards (4.7 average) and three touchdowns.

"He is a righthanded Billy Ragone," said Penn coach Al Bagnoli, comparing Robertson to his own quarterback. "As he gets more experience, he will make better decisions and will be more comfortable going from his first to second receiver, and he always has the ability to get out of trouble and create opportunities with his feet."

Talley said senior receiver Norman White would play. White had an MRI exam this week on his shoulder.

A graduate of St. Joseph in Hammonton, White is the Wildcats' leading receiver with 13 receptions for 159 yards and a touchdown. He missed last season with a foot injury and is beginning to settle in after catching seven passes for 88 yards in last week's 31-10 win over Rhode Island.

"Against Temple [in the opening 41-10 loss] I was shocked being back to game speed, and now I am getting back to where I was two years ago," White said.

In 2010, White was a first-team all-Colonial Athletic Association choice with 69 receptions for 886 yards and 11 touchdowns.

He expects Saturday's game to be competitive, with great atmosphere.

"I love Franklin Field," he said. "It's a big field. We bring fans, they have a lot of fans, and it should be a good game."


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